Another Look Back at January Thru April

Mary Ann had a substantial list of projects at the ready when I returned home the end of December. Little things needed fixing, some less little things needed painting, plants needed moving and removal, and on and on.

Two big and exciting projects needed planning and coordinating: install a screen enclosure on our patio and have all the windows in the house replaced with “hurricane-resistant” impact windows. On the surface this seemed simple enough since we were planning to hire it all out and Mary Ann had actually begun scoping out contractors in October. I suppose we were naive to think things would fall in line like a row of dominoes.

Our HOA requires a plat survey to approve some outside projects and the patio enclosure certainly met the criteria. Once we had our brand new survey in hand the challenges really began. The original builder of our house had poured the patio right to the end of the property line. This not only created overhang questions but left the city uncertain what we could and couldn’t do. It would have been comical had it not been so frustrating.

In the end we got all the needed approvals to do pretty much whatever we wanted to do. But by then we were up to our elbows in the window project and we began to realize timing was going to prevent the enclosure from happening this year.

Mary Ann’s brother was happy with the work done by the window company they had hired to replace their windows so we gravitated to that company. The biggest challenge we faced: Mary Ann’s sister-in-law speaks fluent spanish. For those who speak English in the window company, it’s not their primary language. It’s hard to imagine how invasive it is to have a crew of workers come into your home and tear out your windows one by one. But that is compounded when you can’t communicate with the crew. On day one there was an english-speaking foreman. From day two to completion, not so much. On day four the neighborhood security officer called to tell me he couldn’t admit our crew because they lacked an American driver’s licence. Good stuff.

Somehow around all this we managed to tear out the landscaping in front of our house and put in all new plants.

All in all, not as memorable as jumping off a ladder and breaking an ankle while trimming a tree, but definitely an exhilarating off-season.

b a 01

Before and after shot of the front landscaping







Bedroom sliding door being replaced

Day one  – first two sliders being replaced

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One Response to Another Look Back at January Thru April

  1. Mary says:

    Thanks for adding me to your list. I look forward to following, and seeing news from YNP. Have a fun and safe trip out!